What are some nutrition tips for helping the men in my life stay healthy?
The basics for staying healthy are pretty much the same for both genders: eat a nutrient–rich diet, be physically active and stay at a healthy weight. However, men are different from women when it comes to certain nutrition requirements.
Below are a few examples (and one surprise):
Calories: Generally, men need more calories than women because men have more muscle mass and larger frames. But that doesn't mean men can forget about calories. As men age, many tend to exercise less but eat the same amount, resulting in "beer belly" weight gain. This type of abdominal fat increases risk for diabetes and heart disease, so it's important for men to cut calories and increase physical activity to stay in (or get back to) "fighting trim."
Fiber: Men generally need more fiber each day than women do (38 grams vs. 25 grams for men and women age 19–50). Getting enough fiber is important for digestive health and it may help promote heart health. Fruits, veggies, beans, whole–wheat bread and high–fiber cereals are a few good choices to bridge the fiber gender gap.
Protein: Men tend to have higher protein needs, especially if they're physically active. The key here is to choose lean proteins most often. Examples are meats with "loin" or "round" in the name, skinless poultry and fish. Bake, broil and grill instead of frying, and keep serving sizes modest (a cooked three–ounce serving is about the size of a deck of cards).
Calcium: The surprise here is that men need just as much calcium as women. The Institute of Medicine recommends 800 mg daily for men ages 19–70 and women ages 19–50. Men over 70 and women over 50 need 1,000 mg daily, which is the amount in three cups of milk. Osteoporosis is often considered a women's disease, but it's common in men too. It's important for everyone to get enough calcium throughout life to help keep bones strong.